Rumour has spread that there are two islands in the Mediterranean which are as close to motorcyclist's heaven as can be. Nine riders have embarked on a tour to find out if this is true.
But before they crossed the sea, it was back to the roots of Italian motorcycles. A visit to the Ducati museum revealed some treasures, like the first production racer:
Then they met a real world tourer: around the globe on a 175cc Ducati in 1957. Bike and rider still going strong.
One can circle the globe on one of these...
After a days ride, arrival in Pisa.
An what a view from the rooftop terrace of our hotel.
Next day after an early rise and a four hour cruise across the calm and blue Mediterranean
A first glimpse of the "Island of Beauty" - Corsica
The third day, a rest day in beautiful Calvi. Not everybody went to the beach.
Men at work to get some footage of the roads
What a view - lunch in Asco
Are we happy? You bet!
After how many hundred twists and turns? A view from the top.
Storm clouds over the mountains. We left them behind and made it back to Calvi. Tired, sweaty and happy.
Day four, time to head south. We follow the road that runs along the western coast of the island. Past Galeria and on to Porto. Les Calanche impresses everybody with its vistas and the great roads.
Jim, Andrew and Todd wondering how to fit that camera to the bike.
Liz and Todd at Les Calanche
The fifth day starts with a thunderstorm in Ajaccio. After it is over, we ride in very comfortable temperatures today. Quite a change, considering the hot day yesterday. Our first stop today is Filitosa, an ancient settlement in the southeast of Corsica. Only winding roads lead there. Just the way we like it.
Nick marvelling at statues more than 3000 years old.
Stunning landscapes and perfect roads
Chris and Kathy rolling in on their "Diavel"
Day six and it is time for us to change islands. From Bonifacio at the southernmost tip of Corsica, we sail to Santa Teresa at the northern tip of Sardinia. Just a one hour trip, but it changes a lot: Language, landscape, weather...
Our ship about to berth.
Jim, Greg, Johann, Liz and Chris watching the unloading before it's time for us to move...
...into the belly of the ship.
A last look back to Bonifacio on the clifftop.
Turning around, we saw this:
Not what you REALLY want to see.
Greg parting the waters on the "Diavel". Or is he trying to convert it into a jet-ski?
It was a wet first day in Sardinia, but the rest day at the beach in Alghero allowed everybody to dry their clothes and enjoy a sunny day.
After a lazy day spent on the beach, sightseeing in Alghero or riding through some beautiful backroads, it was time to continue our tour. The eighth day took us south along the west coast of Sardinia. A beautiful road offering stunning views of blue water and green slopes. Coffee on the beach at Bosa was followed by a most delicious lunch at Cabras. Then it was inland and across the mountains to Arbatax on the east coast. For most of the day we managed to stay away from the showers. The day ended with yet another great Italian dinner.
Todd getting ready for another day of riding
The group on its way
A short stop to enjoy the view
Arrival at Arbatax after a long day. The rain has missed the group
The ninth day and the final day on the island of Sardinia. Tonight the ferry will take us back from Olbia to mainland Italy. To get there, we will have to ride up the whole east coast.
A stop at the famous red porphyr cliffs of Arbatax, before we head into the mountains.
Perfect riding weather - sunshine and a few clouds for contrast.
This is one of the wider roads on the island...
Stop for coffee in Orgossolo, a village famous for its murals
After the morning coffee break we headed towards the coast for lunch and on to Olbia. In town we enjoyed another great seafood dinner before it was time to roll to the harbour, put the bikes in the ship and ourselves to bed after a long day.
The tenth day started early with the wake-up call on the ship at 6:00. After docking of the ferry and unloading of the bikes we headed into Livorno for some early breakfast - Italian style.
Kathy, Todd, Liz & Nick at breakfast
Before the tour came to an end in the heart of Bologna we had to cross the Appennin mountains on some twisty roads and stroll through the Ferrari museum.